Story 10Feb2022: Last Pill Thursday

I managed to sleep the night with my usual late night of 2AM when the burn from the chemo drugs finally stopped, and I could sleep. It is like suddenly drinking a double espresso, but you are still tired. It starts about two hours from taking the drug and “burns” for a while. I am used to it, but it makes for nights waking full awake like a strange retroactive case of jet lag from my trips to India years ago (I used to wake there for a week at 2ish and have to read for hours).

Thursday morning, I took my meds, including my chemotherapy, and was happy to see only four pills left, one dose of chemo. Breakfast was with tea as Corwin had forgotten the coffee and yogurt. I made a pot of fantastic Pu-Erh Tuo Cha #1 for sharing with Corwin.

Aside: I purchased my tea from The Upton Tea Company. I annoyed my fellow Information Technology (IT) folks by pointing out that the tea company had a better working website than the shoe company. This was ten years ago. Also, when you ordered tea, I pointed out that it actually was delivered and was what you ordered. And you could customize the labels on the tea tins, and they even sold collections. So as you can imagine, sending out the URL of the tea company to my friends working on the consumer-facing software ensures my continued career in the accounting and fulfillment side. So please enjoy The Upton Tea Company. Also, Nike recently finally fixed its websites and fulfillment, well, mainly (I will let you find that stuff in the press).

I managed to finally get going. I had leftovers for lunch and then headed out an hour late to see Susie. The transferring through Hillsboro and Corneilus to Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, was without events.

Susie was out of bed and watching TV. The daily Olympics had just ended. She was slightly cross that I was late. But, she could not hide that she was thrilled to see me.

Susie saying ‘Hi,’ the photographer is incompetent, something that the Apple technology can’t fix yet. I am expecting in the future, like “word correct,” you will find you took a different subject than you thought, but the shot is perfect.

Susie and I toured the facility in about three lapses. We passed a group of five folks who apparently reside at the care center and play board games. I had forgotten about the old “Aggravation” board game. They were having a great time.

Susie was seemed to find her calm today. She was still a bit lost, but there was some light in her eyes, and she smiled a few times. She even laughed at one of my stupid jokes. We managed to chat with Leta, Susie’s mother, by FaceTime and then a short call with Barb, Susie’s sister, and this helped Susie find her center a bit.

Susie’s roommate, Terry, was happy to see Susie’s 1980 skating video that I played in their room. But, of course, Susie is always thrilled to see it again and have others see her skating program back then.

Susie’s health is coming back, and her ability to speak and swallow is better. This should not happen if these are the results of the stroke. Passing on a miracle–it would not be Susie’s first, it does appear that the mouth infection may be to blame for Susie’s worsening condition last month that had her moved to hospice. Now, it is possible to graduate from hospice and transfer to home care. And that is even partially covered by insurance. So if Susie continues to recover, I will move Susie back home in May and begin homecare. The delay is predicated on my chemotherapy and my ability to handle Susie’s care at the house. I would need to do some of the care.

I stayed with Susie for a few hours, and when it was getting late, 4ish, I left her. I kissed her with the mask still on. I put on gloves and keep the mask on. I am awash in chemo and need to prevent others from getting exposed.

Next, dinner at the Grand Lodge with Mariah. I order my first beer since starting cycle 1. I have just lost my extreme cold sensitivity to drinking. Just one Ruby Ale. Good.

Mariah and I have some food and dessert. Nobody had signed up to provide dinner tonight, and it was nice to just step out. The Grand Lodge is cautious and clean. The customers also are masked and careful. Unfortunately, this will likely be my last time there, as I cannot face (unexpected pun) the unmasked world the governor has unleashed on us.

Aside: The facility where Susie is staying is battling Covid. They have more than 25 employees with a positive test, and the last count, six, was still out. One client at home is down with Covid, one is no longer testing positive. So even seeing Susie is now a risk for me.

Jack Cone delivers us his home-roasted and ground coffee. It is just great! Thanks, Jack!

I head home, and soon the clock is at 10PM, and I end Cycle 1 with one more dose. I am up and down until about 2:20AM and finally sleep. I awake at 5 and 6 as something strange is happening outside. I feel like a vampire exposed to the sun; Oregon somehow is not gray and clouded-over today, and the morning is bright. Again, my response is more covers and simulated vampire burning.

Again, dear reader, thanks for following along. Three more cycles to go. I get seven days to get well enough to go again.

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